• In the past ten years, a number of digital projects have demonstrated the possibilities afforded by developing semantic ontologies. Linked Jazz, for example, continues to demonstrate how discoveries can aid libraries and archives in re-imagining the representation of their holdings that contain music. The recently published Linked Irish Traditional Music project (or LITMUS), is further testimony to value of Linked Data for Irish traditional music, song and dance.

    Connections in Sound (CIS) is a Linked Data case study focused on exploring Irish traditional music in audio collections from the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress. The project team worked closely with reference librarians to identify metadata from fieldworker and recordist documentation and transcribing audio data from a range of performance contexts. The resultant wide range of metadata allowed CIS to make connections between and unite metadata descriptions of audio material that had previously existed within separate sections of the archive. The study demonstrates the particularities of a range of metadata, formats and fieldwork methods from material in collections that span the twentieth century at the AFC.

    CIS pilots a number of digital methods to explore how material from disparate sources may be brought together and visualised with the digital re-combination of metadata. The project progressed in an iterative, experimental way.

    This pilot seeks to contribute to discussions on Linked Data, for best practices, methods for analyzing, gathering and representing data. CIS suggests potentials for continued research in this area and offers insight into advancements for Linked Data with traditional music in general.

    The project is also supported up by a survey of musicians across North America who perform Irish traditional music in order to understand the nuances of their interaction with sound files from archives such as those within the American Folklife Center.